New defibrillator in town thanks to Friends of Royston and District Healthcare

Mark Atkinson, Roysia practice manager, Dr John Hedges of Friends of Royston Healthcare, nurse prac

Mark Atkinson, Roysia practice manager, Dr John Hedges of Friends of Royston Healthcare, nurse practitioner Debbie Fabb, and receptionists Theresa Walker and, Barbara Coates with the new defibrillator. Picture: Rod Taylor - Credit: Archant

The Royston community now have the benefit of the second life-saving defibrillator installed there in three months.

The latest AED – Automatic External Defibrillator – is now available at Roysia Surgery in Burns Road. It was donated the Friends of Royston Healthcare, who worked with the surgery and the East of England Ambulance Service Trust to install the device.

The group’s Dr John Hedges said: “The Friends of Royston Healthcare are delighted to be associated with this project to help safeguard the residents of Royston and are particularly grateful to the partners of Roysia Surgery for allowing the AED to be placed in a prominent position on their building.”

Practice manager Mark Atkinson added: “The partners of Roysia Surgery are proud of the role we play in providing primary healthcare to the residents in and around Royston.”

Since July the public have been able to access another AED next to NatWest in the High Street. It was donated by the Royston Lions Club as a result of a co-ordinated project with the ambulance service and the bank.

Retired paramedic duty officer Rod Taylor told the Crow: “Once again local organisations and agencies working together have provided a valuable facility that not only benefits the local community, but helps safeguard them as well. This is an important project for the Burns Road area.”

These devices are accessible to the public 24 hours a day in a medical emergency where a cardiac arrest is suspected. When the 999 call is put through to the ambulance service, they will be sent to the scene – and if there is an AED in the vicinity, they will issue a code to the caller so they can release the AED from its wall-mounted box.

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The AED instructs the user with step-by-step voice commands how to safely deliver an electric shock to the patient to try and restore normal heart rhythm.

The safety features of these AEDs are so programmed that they will only deliver a shock if the patient has a life-threatening cardiac rhythm.

At the same time, ambulance control staff are trained to give assistance to the caller over the telephone until an ambulance arrives.

As well as these two machines, another one can be found on the outside of the Heath Sports Centre – and a further two are scheduled to be installed in the town in the future.

If you or any organisation wish to learn more about AEDs, email Rod Taylor on